14 Mar 2013

What if Teachers Don't Set Homework?

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At state school, homework tends to be sent once a week from age 7. At Secondary, it will be set at least once per day, or should be - in a perfectly regular pattern like clockwork, i.e. History will always be on Thursdays. Your child should have a homework diary setting out what this is.

So what if they're not getting any? Or say they're not. First, rule out the possibility that your little angel is fibbing. Ask them to show you their homework diary, where homework should be written. If they've lost it, they need to get another straight away. If there is no homework written in their diary, rule out the possibility that they were set work but didn't write it down. Explain you're going to ask the teacher about it. At this point, they may come clean.

What if your child really wasn't set any homework?

At Primary, if teachers don't set homework, ask the teacher, gently if you can get some. If you're not happy about the answer, ask the head teacher, gently. You're unlikely to change school policy, however, so you may want to set work yourself. Find ideas to help with - or set your own - Maths, and English work here.

At Secondary, some teachers set more homework than others. Some set none. They should all be setting the same amount, for each subject - relative to the amount of lessons, roughly. You might need to do a tally chart. When did your child last have Maths homework? English? If one teacher isn't setting it week after week, phone the school. Kids need homework. Using, and recalling, what they've learned in an active way is proven to boost learning significantly.

Sometimes, kids seem to have no homework because they've been set a huge project, and are planning to write it, in three minutes, on the back of a napkin. The idea is, they should spend the same time on this, each week, as they would normally spend on that subject. It's supposed to teach kids to plan out their time.

More about homework, coming in tomorrow's post...